Convicted Rugby burglar confesses to more burglaries across the town

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After being jailed for almost five years, burglar Shane Welsby contacted the police to confess to a ten-month campaign of house break-ins.

And with just 11 months left to serve before he was due to be released, Welsby was given a new three-year sentence by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

Welsby, 25, of Avenue Road, Rugby, had pleaded guilty to burgling three houses in the town between December 2010 and October the following year.

He also asked for 18 further house burglaries, one attempted burglary, one burglary of a shed and two offences of theft to be taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins said the offences came to light when Welsby voluntarily contacted the police while serving a lengthy prison sentence imposed at Lincoln Crown Court in May last year.

Officers went to see him, and on various dates between October and December he was driven round the Rugby area pointing out addresses where he had committed offences.

In December 2010 Welsby had broken into a house in Montague Road, Rugby, by forcing open the patio doors while the owner was away for the weekend.

He stole electrical items and jewellery worth around £9,000 of which the only item recovered was a laptop computer which another man was charged with receiving.

In April the following year Welsby broke into a house in Cymbeline Way, Rugby, by removing beading from a kitchen window and carried out a tidy, and quiet, search while the owners were asleep upstairs.

The couple did not discover they had been burgled until the husband woke at his normal time and went downstairs to find property missing from the house, including the keys to their VW Golf which had also been taken.

Then at the beginning of October 2011 Welsby used the same method to break into a house in Lawford Lane, Rugby, while the owner was away on holiday.

He carried out an untidy search, with property strewn around the rooms, before escaping with property worth £1,170 including a motorbike.

The other offences Welsby had admitted included a further 18 house burglaries in which high-value property was taken including a £26,000 BMW, said Mr Wilkins.

He added that Welsby had several previous convictions, but none for burglary until his appearance at Lincoln Crown Court last year when he was jailed for 42 months for burglary at a house in Digby, near Sleaford, during which rooms were ransacked.

He was also given a consecutive 15-month sentence for dangerous driving - but because of the time he had spent in custody on remand, he was due to be released in April next year.

David Everett, defending, said: “The offences he has now admitted he is candid enough to say were not drink- or drug-related; he was short of money and had a young child on the way.

“But it is absolutely clear that if this defendant had not come forward and said he wanted to admit them, then the offences would never have been cleared up.”

Jailing Welsby for three years ‘from today,’ Judge Alan Parker pointed out he would have to serve 18 months of that before being released on licence, increasing the total time he has to spend inside by seven months.

The judge told him: “Of course I cannot ignore the fact that there are so many offences here, and that they are serious.

“But you are entitled to a reduction to reflect not only your early guilty plea, but your candour.

“It is important the court makes clear that, although it will not shirk from punishing people who commit such offences, people like you who are already serving a prison sentence should be encouraged to assist the authorities, because there are advantages to everyone from that.”